Friends With Benefits: Does it Work?

I know people who have a very x-rated dating life and some who can relate more to a nun on the North Pole. But if there’s anything I’ve heard far too much debate on, it’s about friends with benefits.

Does it work? The consensus throughout my group of friends (split women and men) is that it works depending on the type of person you are and your expectations.



  • Physical pleasure
  • The feeling of being wanted
  • Temporary emotional relief
  • Not feeling guilty afterwards (he’s not some stranger you met at happy hour)
  • Sex on the regular


  • Emotional attachment
  • Potential loss of friendship
  • Raging jealousy
  • Raging jealousy
  • Raging jealousy

I asked two of my good college friends who are currently single but having a sexual relationship with their best friend of the opposite sex. Take a look!


Friend 1

Me: “Tell me about your friends-with-benefits relationship. How long have you known her as friends?”

*Adam: “I’ve known *Ashley since we were freshmen in high school. She dated my ex best-friend and when they broke up we got a lot closer… but just as friends, no hooking up until recently. My friend moved to Texas for college and *Ashley stayed local. We spent so much time together and still do. She’s my best girl friend. Chillest girl I know.”

Me: “When did you start to feel a physical attraction towards *Ashley? How did you know it was time to pursue something more?”

*Adam: “Ashley is a hot girl. I always felt that way about her but being her friend and doing so much fun sh*t with her was the best part of it all. We were at Gotham [a local club] when I first kissed her. Things just escalated from there and now it’s a normal thing for us to hook-up.”

Me: “Why don’t you guys just make it official?”

*Adam: “She hasn’t made any indication that she’s ready for that. *Ashley does her thing and I do mine, but mostly we do our thing together [laughs].  If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. I’m happy just being with her in whatever situation, I’m almost positive she feels the same way about it as I do.”


Friend 2

Me: “So I know you’re single, but tell me about your relationship with *Matt.”

*Lauren: “We’ve been really close friends for like six years. He was a friend of a friend and eventually he became part of our close-knit group. We’re best friends, although he’s great friends with everyone I hang with. It’s pretty awesome. I never thought about him in that way, but after a while of doing everything together it just happened.

Me: “How did it just happen?”

*Lauren: “There was a lot of sexual tension, all the time. I didn’t know what to do with it, I mean I was seeing other guys and stuff… so I kinda loved the attention. But when he made a move on me and I didn’t back away, that started this whole messed up situation I’m in now.”

Me: “Can you tell me a little about it?”

*Lauren: “Put this in your blog: Don’t f*ck around with your friend. The way I deal with it and the way he deals with it are totally different. I’m pissed about pretty much everything he does without me… it was never like that. I stay checking his Instagram and Twitter. I notice everything and it pisses me off because I’m jealous. I wasn’t jealous before we hooked up, but of course… I still hook-up with him.”

Me: “Did you ever think about talking it over with him? To see how he feels?”

Lauren*: “I thought about it but I don’t want to scare him off. At the end of the day he’s someone I care about and would hate myself for losing over my crazy emotions. I just hate that he still goes out with other girls. I f*cking hate it. He’ll always be my best guy friend but I don’t think he sees a future for us like that.  Actually, I think if I don’t get my feelings in check soon, I’ll ruin any kind of relationship we ever had.”


Take the poll. 

13 thoughts on “Friends With Benefits: Does it Work?

  1. it only worked for me once. he was a friend of my friends. we only had 2 summer months together because he was moving to montreal (about a 10 hour drive) from the toronto area, where i was. we agreed to have as much fun exclusively with each other until he moved.

    i have only fond memories of our ‘summer fling’ so to speak. not just the sex but we had a great time together! the intellectual connection. the laughter. exploring the city together. but i am sure that if it had been for a longer time, the good-bye would have been much more painful for me. it was a little hard at the end – i missed him. but due to the fact that i was a) prepared for it from the start and b) it was forced to be short-lived due to the circumstances, it wasn’t so bad.

    for me, personally, friends with benefits would have never worked out. i need to be involved emotionally with a person. i need that type of connection – not just sex and having fun. and i need to be monogamous. i LIKE being in a committed relationship. if it is just for sex, it was always just a 1-nighter/short fling.

    i also love my friends. and would not want to risk losing a friendship.

    i’m sure for some people it can work – but i think it’s rare.

  2. Bummed the girl refers to her own emotions as “crazy.” Women get such a bad rap for “being crazy.” But her feelings aren’t crazy at all, they are normal, what’s crazy is hooking up with someone but feeling unable to talk to him about where you’re at. Good post, conveys that FWB only works when you’re on the same level.

  3. A FWB relationship can develop into one of two states: MORE or LESS.

    In my experience there are a few critical factors to maintaining FWB status. It can work perfectly on a “booty call” level. (IMO, to keep it going you must be slightly numb to your own emotions.) Never be too close to the person, for instance a friend in your inner circle is a bad idea.

    Possible Outcomes:
    1. Fall in love and make it official
    2. Fall in love but break it off
    3. Simply stop calling & drift apart
    4. _________ Probably ends badly
    (but since I’ve never experienced this outcome I leave it to the imagination.)

  4. I was reading this blog and got sidetracked by the picture of Sushi on the right hand margin! It looked so nice.

    All in all I think I would like to be friends with Sushi rather than benefits, but then that’s what a Cat would say, isn’t it?

      1. You are very kind and uncannily accurate! Thanks.

        Do you have any more Sushi or fish based photographs? You’ll know from my books, (you have read them haven’t you? We don’t want any unpleasantness do we?) that I adore Prawns or as some people say ‘Shrimp,’ which I always think makes the poor things sound just a little insignificant!

        Love your blog and one day hope to understand the relevance of humans.


        The Cat

  5. Sarah,

    I am a little too traditional for the friends with benefits. So, naturally, I voted no.


    Well, in the more traditional days, progressive feminism promised US we would have fewer women abused if we just empowered them sexually and financially.

    Well, we went from about 6% to 8% abuse rate to around 30% of our women abused at some point ….

    I do not think the whole social experiment has been good for women (or for men either).

    I guess I should blog on this again ….


  6. Reblogged this on luvsiesous and commented:

    Here is a slightly opposing view. And in our fellow bloggers view, friends with benefits ends up with a lot of jealousy.

    I think the jealousy is because we naturally desire deeper commitments …. we do not want, and we are not satisfied, with shallow commitments.

    If we were satisfied with shallow commitments why would we devote our lives to WORK? Why would firefighters die fighting fires? Why would soldiers die fighting wars?


    I think we desire, and deserve, deeper commitments than our society is giving US ….

    Do you have the relationship you want in your life?


  7. Males in a very general way have a difficult time reading what a female wants in a relationship (and this in a good relationship) so the “no strings” relationship tends to turn one sided after awhile. Your interviews illustrate this. One side sees that everything is cool while the other is an emotional mess.

    Good post!

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